Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik has forwarded a letter to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath asking him to look into the alleged misuse and grabbing of Waqf properties by former minister Azam Khan.
“The letter written by Rampur resident Faisal Lala to the Uttar Pradesh governor highlights the misuse and alleged grabbing of Waqf properties by Azam Khan. The complainant has also demanded a thorough probe into the matter,” a Raj Bhawan official said.
On April 24, the governor forwarded Lala’s complaint to the chief minister for “appropriate action”, the official said.
Reacting to the development, Khan said, “If I start to target those indulging in backbiting against me, then my entire life will be wasted in chasing them.”
“I have discharged my duties honestly as a cabinet minister and I am ready to face any probe,” he said.
When contacted, Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mohsin Raza told PTI that the “ball was now in the chief minister’s court”.
“Rampant corruption has been detected in the affairs of the Shia Waqf Board and the Sunni Waqf Board. The probe carried out by the Waqf Council of India has put the role of former UP cabinet minister Azam Khan and Chairman Shia Waqf Board Waseem Rizvi under the scanner,” he said.
“In the past 10 years, there have been instances of corruption involving the Waqf properties. The report by the Waqf Council is with the chief minister. Now he will decide, which agency will probe the anomalies. In some of the observations, a CBI inquiry has been sought,” Raza said.
Citing the probe report prepared by senior advocate Syed Ejaz Abbas Naqvi, sources in the state government claimed that serious allegations have been levelled against the Shia Waqf Board.
“Cases should be registered against the guilty. The role of Azam Khan must also be investigated and the state government must issue a white paper on the anomalies,” they said.
“The anomalies involving the Waqf properties stands between Rs 500 crore and Rs 1,000 crore. The Waqf properties whose count stands at 7,500, has reduced to 3,000 in the past few years. The million dollar question is where have the rest of the properties gone?” Raza asked.